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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 52, New Delhi, December 11, 2021

25 States Observe International Human Rights Day under Reimagining India Campaign

Saturday 11 December 2021

December 10, 2021

Today, programs were held in 25 states to mark International Human Rights Day as part of a nation-wide campaign titled ’Reimagining India- Campaign to Uphold Human and Constitutional Rights’.

In Delhi, a public meeting was held at Mandi House where nearly 500 people from different walks of life raised issues and concerns of human rights. At the public meeting, groups and networks highlighted issues of attacks on human rights defenders, undermining of institutions of oversight, hunger and malnutrition, continuing attacks on minorities, increasing crimes against Dalits, rights of transgender and LGBTQA communities, use of draconion laws to persecute those raising questions and undermining of social welfare and labour rights. Representatives of several human rights and women rights groups and networks AIDWA, NFIW, AIDMAM, YWCA, Anhad, SNS and Dr. AV Baliga Trust including Annie Raja, Mariam Dhalwale, Abirami Jotheeswaran, Shabnam Hashmi, Anjali Bhardwaj, Pooja spoke at the meeting.

Leaders of several parties including Congress, TMC and Left parties participated in the meeting. Sushmita Deb of the TMC recounted the violence unleashed by the BJP during the recent elections in Tripura and highlighted how the government had slapped UAPA cases against scores of journalists who were reporting on the ground realities. Dr. Shashi Tharoor of the Congress said that there can be no progress unless basic rights of citizens are safeguarded including the right to food, right to health, right to employment and pledged support to raise concerns about undermining of human rights. Suhasini Ali of CPIM spoke of how right wing forces were intimidating and attacking minorities across the country- from not allowing Muslims to offer Friday prayers in Gurgaon to vandalisation of churches in several states. She urged all opposition parties to come together and defeat the divisive forces in society.

People at the meeting pledged to continue the struggle to safeguard and further human rights across the country. Solidarity was expressed with the call for justice against the shooting and killing of coal miners in Nagaland by security forces. James Pochury, associated with Naga civil society spoke of how AFSPA has been misused for several years to curtail peoples freedoms and rights in the north eastern states. Prof. Sadashiv of All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation expressed support for human rights struggles across the country. Sangwari group and Pratidhwani sang songs of protest and Gauhar Raza recited poetry on the farmers struggle at the public meeting.

Under the Reimagining India campaign, over 600 programs (offline and online) were organised. Public meetings and gatherings were held in 25 states to observe International Human Rights Day including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kashmir, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha. Photos and videos of the events can be accessed on the Reimagining India Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/ReimaginingIndia2021

Reimagining India is a campaign to uphold human and constitutional rights aims to bring together peoples’ groups, movements and individual citizens to reclaim our democratic republic.

On behalf of Reimagining India:
National networks- AIDWA, NFIW, AIDMAM, YWCA
Groups- ANHAD, SNS
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